Thursday, August 9, 2007

Animal Faces

The book is Animal Faces by Akira Satoh and Kyoko Toda. It was originally published in Japan in 1994, and it was published in the US in 1996. The publisher is Kane/Miller.

This is a book about observation--close observation. That means looking at things very carefully so that you are able to see the differences between things that upon first glance look exactly alike.

In this book you will be looking at photographs of animal faces, which for a particular species of animal you might expect to look very much alike. But, in fact, for each of the 24 species of animals included in this book, each one of the 21 photos for that animal shows a different face. It is up to you to look at seemingly identical faces and then to discover how they all differ from one another. This is the same as looking at a group of people who at first may look alike, but upon closer observation look very different from each other--in fact look highly individual.

It is your job to figure out how each face differs from every other one, by its markings, shape, color, or expressiveness. And then it will be your job to apply these observation skills when looking at other things that you encounter in your daily life. Have fun.


The animals shown are gorillas, camels, lesser pandas, elephants, seals, rhinoceroses, otters, polar bears, raccoon dogs, tapirs, goats, orangutans, tigers, kangaroos, hippopotamuses, Asiatic black bears, chimpanzees, giraffes, wolves, foxes, zebras, raccoons, lions, and Japanese monkeys.

Each animal has a two page spread. The name of the animal is given along with a brief description of its habitat and observations about its behavior. For example, about the Orangutan it says: The orangutan works at things very slowly but patiently. It could work all day at tearing up the grass or overturning a huge stone in its play area at the zoo. Zoo-keepers never cease to be amazed at the persistence of the orangutan. Can you spot the orangutans who look ready for mischief? Then there would be 21 pictures of orangutans...each one different and unique.


I loved this book. I loved, loved, loved it. I loved looking at the pictures. I loved noticing all the little differences. I loved how this book is an interactive experience. How the text asks you to look at the pictures with a question in mind. Much like a parent would if they were reading together. And this book does work as an interactive read with mother and child. Or should I say child and mother. I read this book with my mom the other day. And you can of course add questions of your own and make your own observations.

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